Video Friday (Saturday Edition) is Good Lovin’ Gone Bad

…Equals, good bands that are better known for the not-so-good stuff they did later.

This first one is personal, in the sense that Norbizness and I have absent-mindedly swatted in each other’s direction over The Damned, so far without evidence submitted to help exalt the wise (that’s me) and shame the foolish (that’s him). Briefly, my take is that they were a fun punk band for a couple of years, then a tremendous, world-class rock band for a few more, then later basically an annoying, pouffy Goth act with the occasional good song. The standard American analysis (which I believe Norb shares) is that they were a great punk band, then everyone over here stopped paying attention to them for awhile, and well, there must be a reason for that.

I’m not going to win this in a single stroke, but this is The Damned at the very tail end of the tremendous-rock-band period, when they still had Captain Sensible on guitar, but after the unfortunate Goth dealo had started to take hold. What I’d really like to post would be a version of ‘Plan 9 Channel 7’ or ‘Melody Lee’ from the Machine Gun Etiquette album, but there aren’t any good ones floating around. That’s the album to swear by, in any case. It’s got it all.

The Damned – ‘Nasty,’ clip from The Young Ones (2:44)

Then there’s the Pretenders. Sure, half the band died, but jeez: If you’re Chrissy Hynde, how do you go from this (and ‘Kid,’ ‘Talk of the Town,’ ‘Birds of Paradise,’ et al.) to ‘I’ll Stand By You’ without realizing that something is hollow? I mean.

The Pretenders – ‘Tattooed Love Boys’ (2:58)

I’m working from a single time-period here, and apologies for that, but most of my examples from later are chronicled all over the place. Like, ‘That second Strokes album wasn’t really all that good,’ and so forth. But Paul Weller — now that’s a career where disappointment lives. The Style Council had like three good songs, and everything Weller, for like the next ten million years, band and solo, was teh suxxor. Gah, but he was so good once.

The Jam – ‘Going Underground’ (3:04)



Comments: 24


Singin’: I…love you for…some-thing to…believe in! I…don’t know where to start! And I don’t…know…where to be-gi-in! To be-gi-in!


Yeah, that too. Jeez.


Try playing all the videos at once!


i’m with you all the way on the damned. however, “Strawberries” is the high point AFAIC. that one has it all–brilliant riff rock (Gun Fury is one of the all time riffs in rawk history), epic classic rock (Ignite), incredible goth rock (Generals) and just plain great rock n roll transcending boundries (Stranger on the town). And great politics. and a great love song. and ridiculous clown rock that really…rocks. and great horns. and strings. just one of the best albums ever.

imho. still not as good as several Fall albums, but pretty damn genius. buy it. buy it now. i will refund your money personally if you don’t think it is one of the best things you own after about two listens.


by “refund” i mean not give you any money back. or apologize. just wanted to clarify.


I’m not sure that the Pretenders belong here. I think that they are known primarily for “Pretenders” and “Pretenders 2.” Of course, there’s nothing wrong with “Learning to Crawl” either.


I think Tattooed Love Boys is my fave PRetenders song. That album I have on vinyl and it just sounds better that way. And you realize how damn strong the album is.

Hey, I think I have this random Damned picture disc, live in Shepperton 1980?

I gotta find that. The key on this one is when the rest of the band comes in on the vocals…


I never cared much for the Damned, the Pretenders, or new wave or punk rock in general (rock & roll from the suburbs, thanks a lot, white people), but I do feel your pain. For I am a Faces fan, so I tend to spend a lot of my time saying “Seriously, Rod Stewart did some really cool shit back 30 years ago. No, I’m not being ‘ironic’, Every Picture Tells A Story is an awesome record.”

And then there’s Joe Tex…good gravy, Joe Tex.


Hell yeah, Joe Tex!

Tak, the Hideous New Girl

I am a huge Damned fan. So it’s always good to see the “Nasty” clip.

I actually like the gothy stuff, but then again, I flirted with the Goth thing back in the day.

Just so I blow any and all credibility with you regarding my taste, I love “In Dulce Decorum.” It was my most favorite song when I was 16.


Arggh, Paul Weller. My roomates subsequently were hugely into The Style Council, despite my pointing out how lame and stylistically void they were. Not even good lounge music. I think they did it just to get back at me for constantly playing The Jam.

Been waiting for Weller to get it back ever since.


Video Saturday goes 3 for 3! Wheeeeeeeeeeee!


great choice. tattooed love boys is the best pretenders song ever, being tied with “message of love”.


Thanks for the trip through the wayback machine… I miss The Young Ones like crazy, and “Tattooed Love Boys” knocked me on my ass in 1982.

As for Weller, I’ve always thought the Style Council were unfairly given a bad rap. The Jam loyalists I’ve encountered tend to disagree, but I can’t see how anyone can listen to “Have You Ever Had It Blue?” (from the Absolute Beginners soundtrack) and not get chills down their spine.


Oh my God, the Jam…what a great song and still as relevant today as 1980. I’m not sure I ever saw a better live act.

Agreed about Style Council but I’d like to know which songs you thought were worth listening to ’cause I would say they ALL sucked.


“The Pretenders” = 2nd-best debut rock album evah (behind Elvis Costello’s “My Aim Is True,” of course).

But MattT is tellin’ the truth about “Every Picture Tells A Story,” too. The title song was so great even the Georgia Satellites couldn’t ruin it completely.


Hey! My wife and I met because of the Damned!

I’m still a huge fan, and even though their new stuff isn’t groundbreaking by any means, getting the Captain back has helped recapture a lot of their lost energy… can always argue though that most bands kinda seem to drop as soon as they stop the drugs.

It's A Wonderful Lie

I totally agree about The Damned. I was a bit too young to have seen them back in the day, but their first record is absolutely fantastic. I finally did get a chance to catch them about 5 years ago on some reunion tour and it was an entirely different experience than I had hoped for. It was, you’re right, like some weirdass glam-cabaret act with cheesy keyboards and Dave Vanian warbling like a post-ironic Elvis. I guess there’s something vaguely punkrock about that but…


I was never a big fan of The Jam except for Town Called Malice, which was used brilliantly in the movie Billy Elliot and The Eton Rifles, but I’ve always respected Paul Weller for breaking them up when they were arguably the most popular rock band in England because he didn’t think Foxton and Buckler could play the soul music he wanted to do. Well, OK, and the fact that he couldn’t stand being in the same room with them anymore, but still.

Nice Mason’s book about his years in Pink Floyd has a good story. He was producing The Damned at the Floyd’s Brittania Row studios. The studio had this really expensive wood or something to help the sound and one of The Damned got drunk and scrawled graffiti all over it (how punk rock!). The drunken Damnster got yelled at like a schoolboy and had to pay to have it replaced. Yeah, punk rock, it was just soooo rebellious.

“The Pretenders” = 2nd-best debut rock album evah (behind Elvis Costello’s “My Aim Is True,” of course).

*Cough* Are You Experienced? *cough* I mean, AYE? wiped the slate clean as far as the electric guitar goes, in addition to having great songs and fiery performances; the other two are fantastic records that are just…fantastic records.


I could be wrong, but I don’t think the Damned was trying for the punk rock idiom by the time they were making “Music for Pleasure”. If I remeber the story correctly, Brian James wanted a member of Pink Floyd to produce their second album in order to piss off the “Punk Rock” establishment and re-fashion themselves as “Rockers”.
I also had heard that it was actually Nick Mason’s rather expensive car that was vandalized; an act that the band refused to own up to. Given the studio story though, I can see why Mr. Mason believed the culprits to be the band.
But if it hadn’t been for all the tension during this period, the band would’ve never broken up, ditched Brian James, reform and become the band I appreciate today.

Here’s to youth angst! Hooray!


Actually, the first time i ever heard “Every Picture” was the Satellites’ version. The summer of ’86, my cousin bought that album (with “Keep Your Hands To Yourself”), and I discovered not only The Faces (and eventually NRBQ thanks to the Sats), but rock & roll past 1959 had worthiness.

Ah, to be 12 again.


1978: import of “in the city” appears in our local record store

1979: my brother, his best friend and i start a band in our garage

this is the benchmark of true rock and roll.


Matt: I dunno ’bout 12, but I’d take 18.

Wait. No, I wouldn’t.

Henry: Cough all you want. Yeah, Hendrix’ guitar work created a whole new dimension, but I’m talking about the total experience, music + lyrics + production … and as an ex-singer, I give the lyrics added weight. C’mon, did Jimi ever open a song he wrote with a line as powerful as “Now that your picture’s in the paper being rhythmically admired … “?


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